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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

the urban politician Feb 18, 2016 9:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Servo (Post 7340644)
Private funding on a public transit project??? Haha, oh kay! :dunce:

Yes, I realize that it's a long shot. A lot of people do.

My response was to this retarded comment you made, aimed at a lot of us:

Quote:

That's how much debt this state is DROWNING in, of which the City of Chicago is solely responsible for more than 60 BILLION.

...I'm reading through these comments and seriously wondering: do you guys have any clue how fucked this state is, or are you all really THAT delusional???
Nobody here thinks that the city is going to pour billions into building an O'Hare-downtown express train. Like the article said, they are seeking private funding for it. So it would not add to the city's debt to construct it, despite your assumptions.

Had you spent the 30 seconds it takes to skim the article, we wouldn't even have had this discussion. Similar to your complaints about the 606. But whatever, go ahead and throw in the dunce emoji :dunce:

emathias Feb 18, 2016 9:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Servo (Post 7339947)
...
$140,000,000,000+

That's how much debt this state is DROWNING in, of which the City of Chicago is solely responsible for more than 60 BILLION.
...

I still have never seen a strong breakdown of what those numbers actually mean. Do you know what they mean, specifically?

How much of that number is debt with a dedicated source of funding? How much is unsecured non-pension debt? How much is Pension debt, and over what timeline is it calculated? 10 years? 30 years? 75 years?

Of the pension debt, how much of it actually needs to be paid in vs. how much could be grown out of with investment? What portion would a strong bull market eliminate the need of? How much bigger will it be if we have a sustained bear market?

Of those questions, the "how many years" one is the most critical. I mean, Illinois has an annual budget of almost $90 billion. $140 billion, if we could take 30 years to bring it into balance, would require paying a little over 5% of that annual budget toward the obligations.

Illinois' total GDP is over $600 billion. Over 30 years that's about $18 trillion dollars. $140 billion is less than 1% of that. $140 billion is about 2% of 30 years worth of payrolls in Illinois.

So, basically, if the only thing Illinois did was re-instate the income tax to 5%, that debt would be manageable. If Illinois managed to cut spending by 5% and kept revenues steady, we wouldn't even need to re-raise taxes to get the debt taken care of over 30 years.

In other words, the issue is not really a financial problem at the core, the issue is primarily a political one.

ardecila Feb 18, 2016 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 7340730)
Yes, I realize that it's a long shot. A lot of people do.

The more I think about it, the more I think this is possible at a reasonable budget that the private sector could support, IF it ends at the remote lot or possibly T5 and interfaces with ATS to get people the last mile. The question is whether the plan will fly politically.

We're probably talking about a mainline rail solution - Metra tracks, not CTA, with little or no new grade separations. So are people in the communities along the rail line willing to deal with trains every 7-8 minutes (15 minute frequency, two directions) even if they are short and relatively quiet? Crossing gates closing that often?

Will Metra commuters accept schedule changes and being (literally) sidetracked in favor of a few well-heeled air travelers?

Kngkyle Feb 18, 2016 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 7340765)
I still have never seen a strong breakdown of what those numbers actually mean. Do you know what they mean, specifically?

How much of that number is debt with a dedicated source of funding? How much is unsecured non-pension debt? How much is Pension debt, and over what timeline is it calculated? 10 years? 30 years? 75 years?

Of the pension debt, how much of it actually needs to be paid in vs. how much could be grown out of with investment? What portion would a strong bull market eliminate the need of? How much bigger will it be if we have a sustained bear market?

Of those questions, the "how many years" one is the most critical. I mean, Illinois has an annual budget of almost $90 billion. $140 billion, if we could take 30 years to bring it into balance, would require paying a little over 5% of that annual budget toward the obligations.

Illinois' total GDP is over $600 billion. Over 30 years that's about $18 trillion dollars. $140 billion is less than 1% of that. $140 billion is about 2% of 30 years worth of payrolls in Illinois.

So, basically, if the only thing Illinois did was re-instate the income tax to 5%, that debt would be manageable. If Illinois managed to cut spending by 5% and kept revenues steady, we wouldn't even need to re-raise taxes to get the debt taken care of over 30 years.

In other words, the issue is not really a financial problem at the core, the issue is primarily a political one.

Stop making sense. Irrational fear, scorched-earth austerity, and the death of unions is clearly what is needed.

jpIllInoIs Feb 18, 2016 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7340821)
...We're probably talking about a mainline rail solution - Metra tracks, not CTA, with little or no new grade separations. So are people in the communities along the rail line willing to deal with trains every 7-8 minutes (15 minute frequency, two directions) even if they are short and relatively quiet? Crossing gates closing that often?....

I agree that the Metra ROW will be one of the engineers top choices, But I think (hope) the project will be bigger than just running extra Metra trains.
There seems to be a convergence of several agency priorities which may mean the time is right for a larger project including the A-2 rail/rail separation.
Really the A-2 is critical to all future intercity and intraurban rail projects on the northern tier of Greater Chicago and many in the northern Midwest.
The following projects would use the improved A-2 interlocking :
  • O'Hare Express (if this route is selected)
  • Direct O'Hare to McCkmk/Hyde Park service
  • Direct to O'Hare - Wolverine service (Its on Michigan DOT wish list)
  • Additional Hiawatha's up to every hour for 12 hours/day.
  • Any Hiawatha's with stops at O'Hare.
  • Adding MD-N Wadsworth extension with stops at Abbott and Gurnee.
  • More frequency on NCS line with stops at O'Hare and CUS.
  • Add 2nd daily Chi-Minneapolis Amtrak.
  • Extend MD-W line to from Elgin to Rockford, terminating in CUS.
  • Extend UP-W line to Dekalb - NIU terminating at Olgilve.
  • Any Rockford, Dubuque Amtrak service (probably dead)

    Frankly, outside of the red line/brown line flyover, the A-2 separation is the most versatile, multi purpose rail infrastructure project that Chicago could undertake to insure the growth and vitality of the downtown terminals as the fulcrum of pax rail travel.

Busy Bee Feb 18, 2016 11:18 PM

Don't forget "we have to be competitive, we have to be competitive..."... you know, with the poor right-to-work states that is.

As if it needs to be acknowledged, the whole country is in a race to the bottom in the name of "competitiveness"... code for being able to pay as little as possible for production (operating expenses) because shareholders demand it, or we'll just move to SE Asia. Occam's razor tells me the driving force is greed, nothing more, nothing less.

ardecila Feb 19, 2016 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 7340901)
Frankly, outside of the red line/brown line flyover, the A-2 separation is the most versatile, multi purpose rail infrastructure project that Chicago could undertake to insure the growth and vitality of the downtown terminals as the fulcrum of pax rail travel.

Could not agree with you more on the need to separate A-2. However, such a project would be very expensive. No private operator would want to fund this, it would kill the budget for any O'Hare Express.

Of course, it would be great if we found public funding for this portion of the project...

orulz Feb 19, 2016 1:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7340979)
Could not agree with you more on the need to separate A-2. However, such a project would be very expensive. No private operator would want to fund this, it would kill the budget for any O'Hare Express.

Of course, it would be great if we found public funding for this portion of the project...

Organization before Electronics before Concrete dictates that you should forget about separating A-2, and instead swap some of the trains' destinations so they don't have to cross each other anymore. You make this project which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars into a project of just realigning some tracks at A-2. Perhaps you would also have to add a fourth track on approach to Union Station, something which should be done anyway even if A-2 is separated. All of this would cause very little inconvenience to anybody - who would really care that much if their train terminates at Union Station instead of Ogilvie or vice versa? The stations are two blocks apart for Pete's sake, or actually even catty corner from each other when you consider the Madison Street entrance to Union Station. Plan the service such that it is balanced according to the capacity of the respective terminals.

Put those hundreds of millions of dollars towards something else instead.

ardecila Feb 19, 2016 2:32 AM

Not so easy. UP-N and UP-NW have to go into Ogilvie in any case. There aren't enough slots to be vacated by UP-W to make way for three other commuter lines plus Amtrak. Union Station would actually be well under capacity in this case and would not need a fourth track, while Ogilvie would need additional platforms and circulation upgrades.

Also, UP-N and UP-NW would lose access to their daytime staging yard at California.

All that is not to say you can't go one level up to an Elektronik solution, though the slow acceleration of Metra's heavy diesels doesn't make things easy. Imagine a 4-way stop where you've got nothing but semi trucks lined up waiting...

orulz Feb 19, 2016 4:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7341073)
Not so easy. UP-N and UP-NW have to go into Ogilvie in any case. There aren't enough slots to be vacated by UP-W to make way for three other commuter lines plus Amtrak. Union Station would actually be well under capacity in this case and would not need a fourth track, while Ogilvie would need additional platforms and circulation upgrades.

Also, UP-N and UP-NW would lose access to their daytime staging yard at California.

All that is not to say you can't go one level up to an Elektronik solution, though the slow acceleration of Metra's heavy diesels doesn't make things easy. Imagine a 4-way stop where you've got nothing but semi trucks lined up waiting...

The solution as far as yards are concerned is simple, serve Ogilvie trains at Western Yard and Union trains at California Yard.

Amtrak really should probably stay at Union Station for the sake of transfers and having a national network. But is a super expensive grade separation at A2 necessary for that or could an alternative be found?

Another alternative would be to move only MD-N and Amtrak to Ogilvie, along with UP-N and UP-NW, while keeping NCS and MD-W at Union Station along with the relocated UP-W.

jpIllInoIs Feb 19, 2016 4:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 7341144)
The solution as far as yards are concerned is simple, serve Ogilvie trains at Western Yard and Union trains at California Yard.

Amtrak really should probably stay at Union Station for the sake of transfers and having a national network. But is a super expensive grade separation at A2 necessary for that or could an alternative be found?

Another alternative would be to move only MD-N and Amtrak to Ogilvie, along with UP-N and UP-NW, while keeping NCS and MD-W at Union Station along with the relocated UP-W.

I get that Amtrak is not the primary concern in this scenario, but they own CUS and wont dispatch the Hiawatha's and Empire Builder out of Olgilve.

orulz Feb 19, 2016 7:30 PM

I guess my question is, then, if you switch the commuter lines, but keep Amtrak where it is, does that eliminate enough of the conflicts at A2 to make grade separation unnecessary?

jpIllInoIs Feb 19, 2016 9:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 7341875)
I guess my question is, then, if you switch the commuter lines, but keep Amtrak where it is, does that eliminate enough of the conflicts at A2 to make grade separation unnecessary?

IDK. Good question..But the goal or demand is to ADD a significant number of train sets. The near term plan for the Hiawatha is to add 3 each way for a total of 10, ultimately up to 18. Plus the hypothetical O'hare express on 20 minute intervals. That's alot of traffic even when moving out the other suburban lines.

the urban politician Feb 21, 2016 4:08 PM

Interesting speculation that Rahm is hanging a huge CTA rail car deal in front of China to get further investments, including the O'Hare-downtown express train and the Wanda Tower:

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...oreUserAgent=1

HowardL Feb 21, 2016 5:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 7343445)
Interesting speculation that Rahm is hanging a huge CTA rail car deal in front of China to get further investments, including the O'Hare-downtown express train and the Wanda Tower:

That article is so juicy. I love it.

Busy Bee Feb 21, 2016 7:02 PM

Which will deliver a more outdated, dopey looking L car, Bombardier or CNR? It's fair game.

k1052 Feb 21, 2016 7:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 7343567)
Which will deliver a more outdated, dopey looking L car, Bombardier or CNR? It's fair game.

Given that the city really isn't open to much change on the looks it's whatever IMO. Riders are still crapping themselves about more efficient center facing seating. As long as they're built well and last I don't care.

Other than that I fully endorse Rahm squeezing the most out of the city's purchasing power. The often barely perceptible low rumble of mayoral dealmaking is starting to sound more like a jet engine at full thrust these days.

ardecila Feb 22, 2016 2:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 7343573)
Given that the city really isn't open to much change on the looks it's whatever IMO. Riders are still crapping themselves about more efficient center facing seating. As long as they're built well and last I don't care.

Do you know that for a fact? The addenda to CTA's 7000-series RFP show that CTA requested several aesthetic concepts from each bidder for both interior and exterior, so they will not necessarily copy the c.1980 design of the 2600 series nor will the seats and interiors necessarily copycat.

The specs dictate most of the details but they do allow some flexibility.

I'm not expecting a revolution in car design, but incremental progress along the lines of NY subway with a slow shift towards a sleeker appearance.

IMO the center facing seating is more efficient but CTA flubbed the details, putting in way too many vertical stanchions and keeping the windscreens at every door. It still feels claustrophobic.

Busy Bee Feb 22, 2016 3:38 AM

Even a remote chance of an open gangway prototype out of this process?

k1052 Feb 22, 2016 5:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7343962)
Do you know that for a fact? The addenda to CTA's 7000-series RFP show that CTA requested several aesthetic concepts from each bidder for both interior and exterior, so they will not necessarily copy the c.1980 design of the 2600 series nor will the seats and interiors necessarily copycat.

The specs dictate most of the details but they do allow some flexibility.

I'm not expecting a revolution in car design, but incremental progress along the lines of NY subway with a slow shift towards a sleeker appearance.

IMO the center facing seating is more efficient but CTA flubbed the details, putting in way too many vertical stanchions and keeping the windscreens at every door. It still feels claustrophobic.

Some slight cosmetic updates are possible but I honestly don't see a design that's radically different being selected.

Center facing seating has been a rider issue for reasons other than that they didn't implement it well. It's markedly different from what people were used to for decades and it is apparently a bridge to far for Chicago commuters at large. People are still complaining about it and the chatter coming out of CTA is that it won't be repeated.


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